Some bureaucrat who polices a retirement center that was built with HUD funding is making sure there is no public Bible reading going on.
She told Ruth Sweats to stop reading her Bible and discussing it with another resident. To read the Bible and then discuss it — yes, my friends, actually discuss it . . . in full public view! — is a violation of the separation of church and state. So says the bureaucrat.
Religious speech is allowed in private rooms, but not the commons area. So said the bureaucrat.
Mrs. Sweats contacted a public interest law organization to send this bureaucrat’s employer a letter, which the firm did.
The social worker reportedly said that since the non-profit complex receives federal funding, Sweats “did not have First Amendment rights because HUD does not allow religious discussions in public areas of the complex,” reported Todd Starnes of Fox News.
This human interest story was not picked up by the mainstream media. It is all over the blogosphere.
My guess is that the over-zealous employee will find that her boss prefers to avoid a law suit. The policy will no longer be enforced, if it really is policy. Senior bureaucrats do not like dealing with public-interest lawyers. The defense costs are high, and the publicity is bad.